Royal Mail fined £5.6m for ‘significant’ delivery target failures
Royal Mail has been fined £5.6 million by regulator Ofcom for a “significant” failure to meet its postal delivery targets in the past financial year.
This includes a significant amount of mail relating to the Gooner Fanzine.
Time and time again our loyal subscribers have had their copies of the Gooner Fanzine lost in the post.
Appalling Royal Mail service costs the Gooner Fanzine a small fortune
Despite the Gooner struggling to stay afloat we have had to send replacements, and in some cases two replacements - with our record being three replacements to patient but frustrated subscribers - costing us a significant amount of money every season.
And it's getting worse after Ofcom accused the company of hiding behind the pandemic - which ended three years ago.
Millions of letters lost in the post or delilvered to the wrong address by Royal Mail
More than a million UK letters a month are being delivered to the wrong house.
About 14.4 million items of post are lost every year, with 60 per cent simply put through the wrong letterbox.
Postwatch said that it had received 2,000 complaints over the past year about misdelivered mail.
The consumer organisation commissioned a survey among 2,100 customers and found that half had received mail not intended for them in the past six months.
One in 20 put misdelivered mail straight in the bin, with 48 per cent delivering it themselves to the right address. A handful admitted that they had opened mail that was not theirs.
Postwatch chairman Peter Carr said: “It may not seem important if you get someone else’s mail, but that letter sitting in your home could mean a great deal to the person it is addressed to.”
Matthew Upton, Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, said: “Royal Mail has been letting consumers down for far too long.
“Letter delays have real and worrying consequences, especially when people miss medical appointments or get bills late. We’ve uncovered millions of people missing such important mail over the past three years.
“Ofcom must now hold Royal Mail to account and not let the company get away with this level of failure. Enough is enough, it's time for the regulator to act.”
Ofcom fines Royal Mail
Royal Mail has been fined £5.6 million by regulator Ofcom for a “significant” failure to meet its postal delivery targets in the past financial year
No wonder Ofcom imposed the penalty following an investigation launched in May after Royal Mail fell short of its performance targets across the 2022 to 2023 financial year for first and second class mail deliveries.
Some 73.7% of first class mail was delivered within one working day across the year, against a target of 93%, while 90.7% of second class mail was delivered within three working days, compared with the target of 98.5%.
And 89.35% of delivery routes were completed on the required day, well behind the 99.9% target.
Lions led by Donkeys
The postal watchdog said that, even after taking into account strike action disruption, extreme weather and the closure of the runway at Stansted Airport, Royal Mail’s first and second class performance was still only 82% and 95.5% respectively.
Royal Mail has been referred to regulator Ofcom for breaching its requirement to deliver letters across the country six days a week, as it was accused of "hiding behind the pandemic" for its alleged failings.
In a strongly worded report, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said the company had “systematically failed to deliver” the so-called universal service obligation (USO), citing “widespread evidence of the company’s deprioritisation of letters over parcels”.
The committee of MPs also said Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson was “not wholly accurate” in answers he gave to MPs on the use of technology to track and discipline workers.
“Royal Mail denied having any knowledge of the tracking of postal workers using technology and said evidence of this practice, and of managers disciplining postal workers using such data, was due to non-compliance with Royal Mail policy,” said the committee.
MPs said they “did not believe that such widespread errors could happen without direct or indirect approval of management.”
Royal Mail’s board was urged to review management of the firm on grounds of “negligence” if they knew nothing about the practices.